|Review: Incantation - Profane Nexus|
Label: Relapse Records
Year released: 2017
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: August 13, 2017
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Rated 4/5 (80%) (11 Votes)
The gates of Hades are unleashed once again by John McEntee and his brothers of Incantation right in the first chords of Profane Nexus, eleventh studio album by the American brutal legends. The effort starts with "Muse", whose vibrant drumming and Doom-ish mid-portion show that the album is set to continue the legacy of 2014's Dirges of Elysium. McEntee's throat-ripping vocals are harsh as usual, while the insistent use of the slow-and-steady leads works well throughout the whole song, making it sound apocalyptic. Tracks like the lyrically attractive "Rites of the Locust" and "The Horns of Gefrin" make use of chaotic tempos and visceral atmospheres, balancing the dragged-on instrumental bits marvelously. Those two quickly became favorites of mine, and I'll most definitely revisit them every time I can.
The kitchen also shines in consonance with McEntee's talents, with Kyle Severn (drums, Shed the Skin, ex-Acheron) blasting fiercely but surgically on his kit and Chuck Sherwood (bass, ex-Blood Storm) supporting the guitar with competence, although the bass lines just stand in the background (sometimes really far away) in most cases. I can't help but think that the album sounds a bit clean and over-polished in comparison to Incantation's other endeavors and to other albums of the genre in general, which makes it lose some of its malevolence and raw power. This is especially perceptible on "Incorporeal Despair" and "Omens to the Altar of Onyx".
Of course, the calamitous and short "Xipe Totec", the ethereal "Stormgate Convulsions from the Thunderous Shores of Infernal Realms Beyond the Grace of God" (yes bro, that's the name of the song; and yes, it almost gave me finger cramps writing it down), which is, despite being instrumental and almost entirely atmospheric, one of the best displays of insanity by the band, and the disgraceful and foul "Messiah Nostrum" more than make up for the lack of crudeness by being utterly evil and bizarre.
Profane Nexus is a cataclysmic and suffocating experience. Even if McEntee toned down the creepiness a little bit compared to its predecessor, the album is more than deserving of being part of Incantation's respectful history.
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Interview with guitarist and vocalist John McEntee on September 15, 2018 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist and guitarist John McEntee on October 13, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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